Date of Degree

6-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Theatre and Performance

Advisor

Peter Eckersall

Committee Members

Erika Lin

Edward Miller

Subject Categories

Theatre and Performance Studies

Keywords

Contemporary performance, Performing objects, New materialism, Posthumanism, Ecocritical theory, Dramaturgy

Abstract

I investigate the material relationship between human and nonhuman objects in performance, asking what their shifting relations reveal about our contemporary condition. Through analysis of contemporary theatre and performance and theories of new materialism, I aim to uncover the dramaturgical models that shift focus towards the agency of objects, thereby exposing alternate models of relationality. Grounded in sensual interactions generated through the performance event, these relations are equipped to develop an expanded sensibility and responsivity in the human. Additionally, I examine how these events enable experiences of the body where the body is both actor and acted upon. Furthermore, I consider the significance of these embodied experiences and a sense of solidarity with objects on feelings of anxiety that characterize the multiple senses of contemporary eco-crisis, climate, and technology. I argue that performance serves as a site in which to better understand our changing subject position, to imagine alternative human/nonhuman relationships, and to offer suggestions toward a more creative and affirmative posthuman experience.

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